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What Is an Iowa Lease Agreement?

An Iowa lease agreement is a legal contract between a landlord or property management company and the tenant(s) interested in specific rental property. After the contract is executed, the tenant can move into the property. An Iowa lease agreement can be used for residential or commercial property.

Most Commonly Used Lease Agreements

The most commonly used Iowa lease agreements include:

Although the most commonly used Iowa lease agreements include the same provisions, they do have some differences. For example:

  • A roommate agreement is a standard residential lease agreement. Although it has the same standard provisions, it also includes an explanation of which areas of the rental unit are for the sole use of the tenant and which areas are considered community space for the use of all occupants.
  • A standard residential lease agreement generally lasts for one year. Upon termination of that year, it often switches to a month-to-month tenancy. However, some renew for another year. Regardless, both may require a 30 day written notice to move out at the end of the agreement if the tenant or landlord do not plan to renew the lease.

How to Write an Iowa Lease Agreement

Iowa lease agreements must adhere to Iowa landlord-tenant laws. If they don’t, they cannot be enforced in court. There are other laws that must be considered as well. You’ll learn more about some of those laws under the sections related to disclosures and security deposits.

Before signing the lease, you should read the terms carefully or have it reviewed by an attorney.

An Iowa lease agreement should include:

  • Names of the Parties - This includes the landlord's full name or the property management company's legal business name and the full name of the tenant(s).
  • Property Address - This is the full property address for the leased space or rental property, including the city, zip code, and the lot or unit number, if applicable.
  • Term Information - This explains the type of lease agreement the parties agree to enter into. For example, a month-to-month lease or a fixed term. A fixed-term lease means that the parties agree that the tenant will hold possession of the space for a certain amount of time, usually one year. If it is a fixed lease, this section should include the date that the lease will end.
  • Rental Amount - This includes the date that the lease will begin, the amount of the monthly rent, the day of the month that rent is due, and the address where the rent may be paid.
  • Late Fees - This section lists the fee that is due if the rent is not paid by a certain date.
  • Security Deposit - This section lists the amount of deposit that must be paid in advance of the tenant taking possession of the property. A security deposit is used to repair damages caused by the tenant.
  • Initial Payment - This area should include the amount of the first month's rent, the security deposit, and the total of the two numbers added together.
  • Occupants - The full name of each tenant must be listed even if they are a minor or are not signing the lease for some reason. This part of an Iowa residential lease agreement establishes who will reside in the residential unit. For commercial space leases, it designates those who have permission to use the space. If the presence of additional occupants changes the price of the rent, it should be included in this section.
  • Utilities - This section explains which utilities or services a tenant does not pay.
  • Parking - If a parking space is reserved and there is a designated spot, the spot should be listed in this section.
  • Furnishings - This section explains to tenants what they are allowed to install (such as a washing machine or dishwasher) or what they may not install. If the tenant is not allowed to bring their own appliances, that should be designated in this section.
  • Notices - This section lists the names of both the landlord or the property manager and tenant along with their full mailing address. This contact information is used if the parties must mail a notice to the other party.
  • Eviction - This section informs tenants about how eviction proceedings will be carried out in the event of nonpayment or breach of other lease terms.
  • Additional Terms - This section lists any other obligations that the parties agreed to that haven't been included in any other section of the lease agreement.
  • Signature and Date - The document should be signed and dated by all parties.

Which Disclosures Belong in an Iowa Lease Agreement?

Iowa lease agreements must include several disclosures under both state and federal law. Under state law, the person who may act on behalf of the landlord must be identified in the lease agreement. Landlords must disclose the rate for shared utility charges and services. If the property is listed in a database with the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, the tenant must be made aware of this. Finally, the landlord must provide 24-hour notice if they (or their agent) plan to enter the rental property for a non-emergency reason, maintenance, or inspection.

If the property is a residential unit built before 1978, the landlord must provide a lead-based paint disclosure.

What You Need to Know About Iowa Lease Agreement Deposits

Under state law, landlords in Iowa may not charge more than two months’ rent for a security deposit. Landlords must return the deposit within 30 days of the tenant leaving the property.

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